Between November 8 to December 9, 2016, a total of Php 4,199,999.07 worth of livelihood grants, in form of goods, materials, tools and jigs, is estimated to benefit five hundred thirty-six (536) parents and guardians of child laborers in fifteen (15) barangays in the City of Manila.
At the forefront of this initiative is the Manila Field Office (MFO) of the DOLE-NCR tasked to implement the DOLE’s Child Labor-Free Barangay (CLFB) Campaign, a barangay-based convergence program in accordance with the Philippine Program Against Child Labor that aims to prevent and to progressively eliminate child labor incidence in the country through strategic partnerships, intensified advocacy and improving access to quality and integrated services.
A series of awarding of the DOLE livelihood enhancement projects were concluded this November 2016 at the following barangays: Barangays 56 and 69, Tondo, Manila (November 8); Barangays 123, 199 and 200, Tondo, Manila (November 15); Barangay 312, Sta. Cruz, Manila (November 18); Barangay 372, Sta. Cruz, Manila (November 22); and, Barangays 579 and 580, Sampaloc, Manila (November 25).
Further awarding of CLFB projects will be conducted at Barangays 770 and 775, San Andres, Manila (December 2); Barangay 867, Pandacan, Manila (December 9); and, Barangays 633, 634 and 636, Sta. Mesa, Manila (December 9).
During the simple awarding ceremonies, MFO Director Leonides P. Castillon, Jr., and representatives of the Child Labor Program Implementation Committee (PIC), from the respective barangays, Department of Education (DepEd) Division of City Schools Manila, the Manila Department of Social Welfare (MDSW), Manila Health Department, Manila Barangay Bureau, Manila Youth Development and Welfare Bureau (YDWB), and the Manila Public Employment and Service Office (PESO), delivered messages of inspiration for the beneficiaries.
The MDSW stated their commitment to assist the DOLE in social preparation and to provide educational, capital and medical assistance. DepEd Manila pledged to provide the former child laborers, and even their parents, formal education or to cover them under the Alternative Learning System (ALS). PESO Manila committed itself to render employment facilitation services for the parents, guardians and family members of the children-beneficiaries. The Manila City Health Department pledged to continue provision of medical and dental examinations and services to the former child laborers and their families. On their part, the Manila YDWB offered assistance through youth programs, including DOLE’s Special Program for Employment of Students (SPES), which will help the beneficiaries continue their studies. Lastly, the barangay officials committed themselves to monitoring the incidence of child labor in their barangay, to see to it that their barangay is child labor-free, and to implement ordinances and rules for the protection of children.
The actual awarding of certificates of entitlement and release of goods, materials, tools and jigs followed. These include livelihood kits for street-food vending, rice retailing, eateries, ready-to-wear clothing, jewelry and accessories retail, softdrinks vending, and sari-sari store kits. The same beneficiaries were also enrolled to a year-long subscription to social micro-insurance under the GSIS. Afterwards, the parent and guardian-beneficiaries took a solemn pledge to enhance their livelihood to support the education and welfare of their children.
END/Jeremiah T. Carlos